Arsenal transfer news: Nico Williams clause and wages, Joshua Kimmich interest, and more

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Nico Williams is a talent, but don’t expect Arsenal to break the bank

If Nico Williams wasn’t already in the shop window ahead of Euro 2024, then he certainly is now.

The Athletic Club winger has been electric for Spain and understandably he now has a lot of people talking about him as a potential transfer target this summer.

Arsenal are admirers of the 21-year-old, but so are plenty of other of the top clubs across Europe and that interest is only going to increase as the tournament goes on.

On paper, the release clause of around £50million for Williams looks a very appealing one, but as far as I’m aware it’s not as simple as that.

You have to remember that release clauses in Spain have to be paid in full and that makes deals very expensive as clubs can’t spread the transfer fee out over the length of the contract like they usually do.

But in Williams’ case, the wages are also understood to be a pretty significant issue. Athletic Club are big payers. They have to be to ensure they keep their team together given the unique way the club operates.

So Williams is on good money and the word is that interested clubs have been surprised by the wages he would want to move this summer.

Arsenal are good payers, but they have a wage bill that they have worked hard to get in check in recent years. So they won’t do anything stupid and undo that hard work.

Williams is a talent, but he is still young and relatively inexperienced. For Arsenal to immediately make him one of the highest earners would be a risk, because it could unsettle the squad a bit, especially if he were to come in and suddenly be earning more than some of the experienced players who have been at the club for a while. So all that sort of thing has to be taken into account when it comes to potential deals.

Nico Williams to Arsenal?

Williams is a huge talent and is a player I would love to see at Arsenal. He ticks a lot of boxes when it comes to what the club needs right now. But it has to be a deal that works financially. If it’s not, then there are plenty of other players out there.

Joshua Kimmich would be open to Arsenal, but do they need him?

The links between Joshua Kimmich and Arsenal have been going on a for a while, but it’s not something I’ve really heard anything about myself yet.

A lot of the links seem to suggest that Arsenal are a club he would consider joining should he leave Bayern, rather than Arsenal actually making a move for him.

He’s a wonderful player and would bring quality and versatility to any squad and we know those are traits that Mikel Arteta demands when bringing any player to the club.

While Arsenal usually prefer to go for younger players than Kimmich, they have shown they do sign experience when needed, as was demonstrated when they brought in Jorginho from Chelsea.

That deal turned out to be an excellent one for the club and highlighted the importance of bringing in experience from time to time, especially when the squad is so young.

When I look at Kimmich though, as good as he is, I’m not sure he’s the player Arsenal really need this summer.

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t be against the signing. You can’t turn your nose up at a player as good as him, but I do think a midfielder with a slightly different profile is what’s needed right now when you look at the current make-up of Arsenal’s squad.

Emile Smith Rowe talks ongoing amid interest from clubs in England, Germany and Italy

I think we’ll find out a bit more about Emile Smith Rowe’s situation soon.

There is widespread interest in him from some clubs, not just in the Premier League, but also in Germany and Italy.

A final decision on his future has not yet been taken, but discussions are going on which should make things clearer soon.

My expectation is still that he will leave and that he will stay in the Premier League. That is certainly his preference.

Fulham are one of the clubs who are understood to be interested in Emile and that is a potential move that makes a lot of sense to me.

They are a good club, with a good manager and look to play football in a way that I think would fit Smith Rowe’s qualities.

Nothing has been decided yet, but my understanding is still that there is an acceptance on the players’ side that he now needs a move to try and kickstart a career that has stalled over the last couple of seasons.

He loves Arsenal, but he wants to play and it’s pretty clear that he is not going to get the opportunity to do that much should he stay for another year.

Gary Neville has got it all wrong with his criticism of Declan Rice

The criticism of Declan Rice has been well over the top since the Denmark game. Honestly, it just makes me laugh.

Look, he had a really poor game by his standards against Denmark. In fact, I think it was his worst performance for club or country since he made his move to Arsenal. But the reason it stood out so much was because that sort of display is such a rarity from him.

I thought Gary Neville’s comments were way over the top as well. Neville saying that Rice is ‘not good’ at playing as a No.6 and that Mikel Arteta moved him further forward because of that was just complete rubbish in my opinion.

Arteta moved him further forward because of Kai Havertz’s sudden emergence as Arsenal’s No.9 over the final months of the season. Havertz suddenly playing as the central striker meant someone had to play in that left eight role next to Odegaard and Rice was the best option for that, especially as Jorginho could fill in behind him. It wasn’t anything to do with Rice’s performances at No.6.

In my opinion he was Arsenal’s stand out player over the first half of the season by a country mile and that was all while playing as the No.6.

Yes, he doesn’t progress the ball like Toni Kroos playing in that role, but there aren’t many players who can, that’s what makes Kroos so special.

Rice is more of a disrupter, someone he sits in front of the back four, wins the ball back and then drives forward.

He’s been one of England’s best players over the past few years, yet suddenly after one bad game he’s getting pelters. It’s well over the top in my opinion. And let’s not forget he was excellent against Serbia in the first game.

More Stories Charles Watts Declan Rice Emile Smith Rowe Joshua Kimmich Nico Williams

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